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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2011 Aug;61(Pt 8):1829-36. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.024174-0. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Classification of organisms previously reported as the SP and Stewart-Letscher groups, with descriptions of Necropsobacter gen. nov. and of Necropsobacter rosorum sp. nov. for organisms of the SP group.

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Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 4 Stigboejlen, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


To allow classification of bacteria previously reported as the SP group and the Stewart-Letscher group, 35 isolates from rodents (21), rabbits (eight), a dog and humans (five) were phenotypically and genotypically characterized. Comparison of partial rpoB sequences showed that 34 of the isolates were closely related, demonstrating at least 97.4 % similarity. 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison of 20 selected isolates confirmed the monophyly of the SP group and revealed 98.5 %-100 % similarity between isolates. A blast search using the 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the highest similarity outside the SP group was 95.5 % to an unclassified rat isolate. The single strain, P625, representing the Stewart-Letscher group showed the highest 16S rRNA gene similarity (94.9-95.5 %) to members of the SP group. recN gene sequence analysis of 11 representative strains resulted in similarities of 97-100 % among the SP group strains, which showed 80 % sequence similarity to the Stewart-Letscher group strain. Sequence similarity values based on the recN gene, indicative for whole genome similarity, showed the SP group being clearly separated from established genera, whereas the Stewart-Letscher group strain was associated with the SP group. A new genus, Necropsobacter gen. nov., with only one species, Necropsobacter rosorum sp. nov., is proposed to include all members of the SP group. The new genus can be separated from existing genera of the family Pasteurellaceae by at least three phenotypic characters. The most characteristic properties of the new genus are that haemolysis is not observed on bovine blood agar, positive reactions are observed in the porphyrin test, acid is produced from (+)-L-arabinose, (+)-D-xylose, dulcitol, (+)-D-galactose, (+)-D-mannose, maltose and melibiose, and negative reactions are observed for symbiotic growth, urease, ornithine decarboxylase and indole. Previous publications have documented that both ubiquinones and demethylmenaquinone were produced by the proposed type strain of the new genus, Michel A/76(T), and that the major polyamine of representative strains (type strain not included) of the genus is 1,3-diaminopropane, spermidine is present in moderate amounts and putrescine and spermine are detectable only in minor amounts. The major fatty acids of strain Michel A/76(T) are C(14 : 0), C(16 : 0), C(16:1)ω7c and summed feature C(14 : 0) 3-OH/iso-C(16 : 1) I. This fatty acid profile is typical for members of the family Pasteurellaceae. The G+C content of DNA of strain Michel A/76(T) was estimated to be 52.5 mol% in a previous investigation. The type strain is P709(T) ( = Michel A/76(T)  = CCUG 28028(T)  = CIP 110147(T)  = CCM 7802(T)).

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